Nearly every MMO on the market has them: server shards. Whether they're named after game characters or places they all present the same problem -- limiting a player's options. Whenever a new MMO comes out, friends must discuss and agree upon which server to choose and it's not always the smoothest discussion. Enter Champions Online
, who is going the way of Guild Wars
: No servers, but instead a large list of all the current instances of the particular zone you're attempting to enter.
Suddenly, the other reasoning behind the new naming system tied into player's account names becomes clear. It's nice to know -- via the same Dev Diary
-- that the game UI will auto-complete names based on accounts you've spoken with prior. We're going to need all the help we can get there, considering the thousands upon thousands of players we could potentially be IMing in-game.
So here's how it works: When you log in with your character, you won't pick a server. Instead, you'll be presented with a list of instances for whatever zone you were inside when last playing. This list -- shown whenever you move between a zone -- presents players with team, friend and guild information so they can decide the proper server to play on at any even moment. Thankfully, switching instances whenever you like is also an easy affair.
We hope this system applies to our European friends as well, since it's always either a pain or nearly impossible to play with them from the states. Unfortunately, that much hasn't been made clear just yet.As we said in our recent features covering our press beta experience in the game
, the zones in Champions Online
are quite huge. So for anyone worrying about minuscule zone population caps, we feel safe in saying you probably won't have to worry about that.